FF Lenzi: new textile solutions for the sports worldAn ever-present pioneer in the production of technical fabrics, over the years, this Prato company has developed specific textile products that have pre-empted some of the leading trends in the sports and high performance sector.
Launched in a spirit of continuity that follows in the footsteps of the historic Lenzi Egisto SpA founded in Prato in 1898, Lenzi Egisto FF has been a pioneer in introducing onto the market some of the materials key to revolutionising the world of footwear, including L-Protection anti-perforation textiles for the military and safety sectors, and elasticised and non-elasticised Cordura(r) for uses in footwear for hiking and motorcycle apparel.
Always cutting-edge in the field of research and innovation, in recent years, the company has developed some specific textile products for sports shoes, thereby pre-empting two of the leading trends in the sportswear and high-performance segment: PU Tek fabric from the HYPERTEX line and PERSPAIR fabric for engineered uppers.
The HYPERTEX line features fabrics with an extremely high mechanical and abrasive resistance, made possible thanks to a special yarn directly woven into the structure of the material itself. Accordingly, these high performance fabrics also present a high degree of comfort and great aesthetic appeal, factors that have made them very popular among numerous brands of hiking footwear. Since normal abrasion tests conducted by using the Martindale method are unable to scratch these special fabrics, the FF laboratories decided to test them using the more stringent criteria of EN 388 for work gloves, which exerts a greater pressure on the fabric with extremely abrasive sand paper. Above all, Hypertex is a material that is very easy to use in production, both when it comes to cutting it and especially during the phase of stitching.
Another important innovation is the PERSPAIR line, which includes “seamless” uppers achieved through a special weaving and finishing technique conceived and developed by FF Lenzi, allowing technologically advanced yarns with special characteristics that vary in accordance with the area of the upper to be used in the same shoe. Accordingly, it is possible to use Hypertex PU Tek yarns in the areas that are subject to the greatest amount of friction like the reinforced toe-cap, while elasticised yarns are used on the sides for conveying maximum comfort to the footwear. Even monofilament yarns, like those typical of fishing, can be used in the areas requiring a higher degree of breathability but also resistance. Thanks to the collaborations undertaken by FF Lenzi over the last decade with leading technical textile brands, the company now offers a wide variety of technical yarns and super fibres like Kevlar, Dyneema, and reflective 3M etc.
When compared to knit fabrics, like Fly Knit by Nike (which by their very nature are more delicate and subject to unravelling), Perspair fabrics maintain all the advantages of seamless uppers, including maximum comfort and quick cutting and binding times, while also ensuring durability and the maximum mechanical resistance typical of woven orthogonal fabrics.
Characteristics that have seen the engineered uppers of the Perspair line become the preferred product of important shoe brands coming from the technical, hiking, safety, sports, and especially athletic, shoe sectors. Perspair also produces customised uppers, designed and created in strict collaboration with the customer, with CAD simulations that allows different areas of the shoe to be associated with different performances, which will then be transposed onto fabric in order to achieve the right upper for the shoe required.